Review: Flashpoint 3
Despite exploding upon his attempt to recreate his Flash powers, Barry Allen lives long enough to try again. This time it doesn’t result in a hilarious self-deprecating moment and Allen’s powers return. Problem solved, the Flash and Thomas Wayne Batman decide to search for Superman with the hopes that he can shift the tides in the crumbling world of Flashpoint.
We’re more than halfway through this supposedly world shattering series, and it seems we’re only starting to get to the main plot. We can see an inkling of an army being built and a lot of character development, but this should not be happening during the third issue. Don’t get me wrong, Johns is a great writer and everything in the main Flashpoint book is easy to follow. The dialogue between the Flash and Batman is solid, and there are one or two moments I found myself smiling at their interaction. I actually prefer it to the Fraction’s tactics in Fear Itself where he points to a hundred things happening in the tie-ins, without much character development.
However, this is the opposite tactic and I’m sorry Johns, this is not the right pacing for a 5 issue event comic.Issue 4 has to be huge and entirely focused on pushing the plot forward or issue 5 is going to be rushed to bits. Actually at this point it’s still going to be rushed to bits. In an event series at least ten pages is devoted to the final confrontation and we haven’t even seen the Reverse Flash or someone else who can restore the timeline. Fraction may have too much bombast, but at least he’s got three issues to go.
Without the gloom of the pacing hanging over it, this is actually a perfectly servicable issue. The art adds to that, as Andy Kubert renders the Flashpoint verse in full form. Kubert is a great artist and his scenery and character design really work for that dark world. Though, I wouldn’t say I was blown away at any point. His line art feels functional, only occasionally showing Kubert’s full ability. The one problem I had with his lines was when Superman shows up. His proportions just feel off. I understand that Superman is not at full strength, but he looks like Mr. Fantastic.
The colouring is my favourite part about the art because it brings the character to life beyond Kubert’s lines, and provides some gorgeous backgrounds. Rarely is it outstanding, however, there are enough moments that made me linger on certain panels for it to stay with me.
I suppose I should have more faith in Johns to pull this off, but I am seriously concerned this could come crashing down as it gets closer to the end. And really, if you liked Flashpoint up until this point, you should buy this issue. It’s not better or worse than any other chapter. Yet, with two issues to go, I am remarkably sure the events of this comic will have no follow-up within its own pages, no denouement in its final issue. Flashpoint is going to end with Barry Allen witnessing a white light at the end of the tunnel.